Dr Louise Dixon PhD

Senior Lecturer

School of Psychology

Louise Dixon

Contact details

School of Psychology
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT


Louise specialises in the prevention of interpersonal violence. Her work primarily centres on intimate partner aggression and group and gang related aggression and addresses issues related to aetiology, risk assessment, intervention, primary prevention and policy change. She enjoys an international research profile which positively impacts upon practice, policy and service provision.

She is currently leading and co-leading a number of funded research projects. These include an ESRC funded project that explores the effects of prison visits on re-offending; a research, development and training project that promotes evidence based policing; and an evaluation of a local community based domestic violence perpetrator programme. Louise is also developing an international network that aims to provide a focus on male victims of intimate partner aggression and together with her co-editors has secured an international book series that advances offender rehabilitation. 


BSc, MSc, PhD, C.Psychol, Forensic Psychologist


Louise is an internationally renowned academic and Forensic Psychologist who has specialised in the prevention of violence, specifically intimate partner aggression and group and gang related aggression. Having more than forty articles in peer reviewed journals, books and professional reports Louise enjoys an active research profile. Her commitment to the field is demonstrated by her involvement with external organisations. For example she is the Chair for the West Midlands branch of the national organisation BASPCAN (British Association for the Study and Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect), a member of the International Family Aggression Society and International Society for Research on Aggression.

She is on the Editorial board of several international journals such as Partner Abuse, Child Maltreatment and the British Journal of Forensic Practice. She is also involved in starting up an international network that aims to provide a focus on male victims of intimate partner agression. Louise has recently led several funded projects including an outcome evaluation of multi-agency screening of cases of domestic violence where children are present, an exploration of the sexual experiences of British urban youth, and an investigation of gang life in Birmingham.

In addition Louise is working on an ESRC-funded project that aims to explore  the effects of prison visits on re-offending, which will provide a focus on crime reduction. Her reputation has led to prestigious organisations seeking her advice on violence related issues, such as the Scottish Parliament, British Council and West Midlands and Merseyside Police. Louise’s co-edited book 'What works in offender rehabilitation: An evidenced based approach to assessment and treatment' was released in 2013 and is the first of several to be released in a Wiley series. 


Louise is the Deputy Director of the Centre for Forensic and Criminological Psychology and Director of the Doctorate in Forensic Psychology Practice programme. This is a post graduate research programme.

Postgraduate supervision

Louise supervises several PhD students and Trainee Forensic Psychologists in areas of family violence and group/gang aggression. Interested students should consult the Psychology PhD course page for further information about postgraduate study, funding opportunities and how to apply.


Research Group

Centre for Forensic and Criminological Psychology

Research Interests

  • Intimate partner aggression and violence/homicide
  • Links between intimate partner violence and child abuse and neglect
  • Aetiology of interpersonal violence
  • Psychological informed risk assessment, prevention and intervention of various forms of violence and aggression
  • Policy and service provision for family violence
  • Group/gang aggression and criminality

Listen to Louise's podcast 'What the evidence tells us about the nature of Intimate Partner Violence' (MP3 - 9.15MB) or read the podcast transcript.

Live Research Projects

Breaking the Cycle: Prison Visitation and Recidivism in the UK

A new research project funded by the UK Economic and Research Council (ESRC), undertaken by carceral geographer Dominique Moran and forensic psychologist Louise Dixon (both University of Birmingham, UK) will draw attention to prison visitation as an aspect of imprisonment which has already been demonstrated to improve the outcomes of released prisoners, but whose specific functionality is at present poorly understood.

This 3-year interdisciplinary project will provide a new perspective on prison visitation and its relationship to the highly topical issue of recidivism. Macro-level statistical analysis in parallel with innovative mixed-methods research into visiting facilities will identify the nature of this relationship and its socio-spatial context, informing policy towards visitation and the design of visiting spaces, and contributing to broader debates about prisoner rehabilitation and resettlement.

Keep up to date at: http://carceralgeography.com/research/prison-visitation-and-recidivism/

Other activities


  • HCPC Registered Forensic Psychologist
  • Chartered Psychologist (British Psychological Society)
  • Full member of the British Psychological Society Division of Forensic Psychology
  • Fellow of the International Society for Research on Aggression
  • Trustee of the British Association for the Study and Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect
  • Chair West Midlands BASPCAN branch
  • Advisor to ADVIP (Association of Domestic Violence Intervention Progams)
  • Eurogang Network Member


You can find many of the listed publications below at Louise's eprint repository page

Nebrinski, R., Harkins,L., Smith, K., Judson, S., & Dixon, L. (in press). The Role of Moral Disengagement in Street Gang Offending. Psychology Crime and Law

Tew, J., Harkins, L., & Dixon, L. (in press). Assessing the reliability and validity of the Self Report Psychopathy scale in a UK offender population. Journal of Forensic Psychology and Psychiatry

Dawson, P., Goodwill, A., & Dixon, L. (2014). Preliminary insights and analysis into weapon-enabled sexual offenders. Journal of Aggression Conflict and Peace Research, 6, 174-184.

Pornari, C., Dixon, L., & Humphreys. G.W. (2013). Implicit Theories in Intimate Partner Violence: What does the empirical literature suggest? Aggression and Violent Behavior, 18, 496 - 505

Howard, P., & Dixon, L. (2013). Identifying change in the likelihood of violent recidivism: Causal dynamic risk factors in the OASys Violence Predictor. Law and Human Behavior, 37, 163-174

Beech, A.R., Bartels, R.M., & Dixon, L. (2013). The assessment and treatment of offender cognition. Trauma Violence and Abuse, 14, 54-66

Archer, J.A., Dixon, L., & Graham-Kevan, N. (2012). Perpetrator programmes for partner violence: A rejoinder to Respect. Legal and Criminological Psychology,17, 225 - 232.

Tew, J., Harkins, L. & Dixon, L. (2012). Investigating changes in anger and aggression in offenders with high levels of psychopathic traits attending the Chromis violence reduction programme. Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health, 22, 191 – 201

Howard, P., & Dixon, L. (2012). The construction and validation of the OASys Violence Predictor: Advancing violence risk assessment in the English and Welsh correctional services. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 39, 287-307

Esquivel Santovena, E., & Dixon, L. (2012). Investigating the true rate of physical intimate partner violence: A review of nationally representative surveys. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 17, 208-219.

Dixon, L., Archer, J.A., & Graham-Kevan, N. (2012). Perpetrator programmes for partner violence: Are they based on ideology or evidence? Legal and Criminological Psychology, 17, 196-215.

Dixon, L. & Graham-Kevan, N. (2011). Understanding the nature and aetiology of intimate partner violence and implications for practice: A review of the evidence base. Clinical Psychology Review, 31, 1145-1155.

Dixon, L., & Graham-Kevan, N. (2011). Until Death Do They Part: Preventing Intimate Partner Homicide. The Psychologist, 24, 820-823.

Howard, P., & Dixon, L. (2011). Developing an empirical classification of violent offences for use in the prediction of recidivism in England and Wales. Journal of Aggression Conflict and Peace Research, 3, 141-154.

Dixon, L. (2011). Book review: The rehabilitation of partner violent men. British Journal of Forensic Practice, 13, 54-55

Hillberg, T., Hamilton-Giachritsis, C., & Dixon, L. (2011). Critical review of meta-analyses on the association between child sexual abuse and adult psychopathology: A systematic approach. Trauma violence and Abuse, 12, 38-49.

Bowen, E. & Dixon, L. (2010). Evidence for current and prospective associations between facial affect recognition accuracy and anti-social behaviour during childhood. Journal of Aggressive Behavior, 35, 1-10.

Harkins, L. & Dixon, L. (2010). Sexual offending in groups: An evaluation. Journal of Aggression and Violent Behavior, 15, 87-99.

Dixon, L., Browne, K.D., Hamilton-Giachritsis, C., & Ostapuik, E. (2010). Differentiating patterns of violence in the family. Journal of Aggression Conflict and Peace Research, 2, 32-44.

Dixon, L. & Graham-Kevan, N. (2010). Spouse abuse. In B.S. Fisher and S.P. Lab (Eds.). Encyclopaedia of victomology and crime prevention. Thousand Oaks. Sage.

Stokes, H., Dixon, L. & Beech, A. (2009). Predicting dropout of incarcerated men from a long term aggression programme. Journal of Aggression Conflict and Peace, 1, 36-44.

Dixon, L., Browne, K.D. & Hamilton-Giachritsis (2009). Patterns of risk and protective factors in the intergenerational cycle of maltreatment. Journal of Family Violence, 24, 111-122.

Dixon. L., Hamilton-Giachritsis, C. & Browne, K.D. (2008). Classifying partner femicide. Journal of Interpersonal Violence; 23, 74-93.

Dixon, L. & Browne, K.D. (2007). The heterogeneity of family violence and its implications for practice. Issues in Forensic Psychology, 6, 116-124.

Dixon. L., Hamilton-Giachritsis, C., Browne, K.D. & Ostapuik, E. (2007). The co-occurrence of child and intimate partner maltreatment in the family: Characteristics of the violent perpetrators. Journal of Family Violence, 22, 675-689.

Dixon. L., Browne, K.D. & Hamilton-Giachritsis, C. (2005). Risk factors of parents abused as children: A mediational analysis of the intergenerational continuity of child maltreatment (Part I). Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 46, 47-57.

Dixon. L., Hamilton-Giachritsis, C. & Browne, K.D. (2005). Attributions and behaviours of parents abused as children: A mediational analysis of the intergenerational continuity of child maltreatment (Part II). Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 46, 58-68.

Browne, K.D. & Dixon, L. (2003). Links between spouse and child abuse and treating domestic violent offenders. Dziecko Krzywolzone: Teoria Badania Praktyka: 5, 6-23.

Dixon, L. & Browne, K.D. (2003). The heterogeneity of spouse abuse: A review. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 268, 1-24.

Edited Books

Leam Craig, Louise Dixon and Stephen Wormith have secured an edited book series entitled ‘The ‘What works’ in the rehabilitation of criminal behaviour edited series’ with Wiley Blackwell. The following have been published or have been agreed to be published in the series with Craig, Dixon and Wormith acting as Series Editors:

  • Craig, L.A., Dixon, L., & Gannon, T.A (Eds.). (2013). What works in offender rehabilitation: An evidence based approach to assessment and treatment. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell. 
  • Dixon, L., Perkins, D., Hamilton Giachritsis & Craig, L. (Eds.). (in preparation). What Works in Child Protection: An Evidenced-Based Approach to Assessment and Intervention in Care Proceedings. Chichester. Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Wormith, J.S., Craig, L.A., & Hogue, T. (Eds.), (in preparation). What Works in Violence Risk Management: Theory, Research and Practice. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell
  • Cooke, D., Logan, C., & Skeem, J. (Eds.), (in preparation). What Works with Personality Disorders and Psychopathy: Theory, Research and Practice. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell


What the evidence tells us about the nature of intimate partner violence


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